Friday, January 10, 2014

Twas the Night Before an IEP

Okay, so this is not quite timely since Christmas is already in our rearviews, and being here in Moshi feels more like the tropics than a snowy winter's eve, but it's so cute and the blog where it's posted, and which I just stumbled upon this morning, is so informative, I had to post it ASAP.

The name of the blog is Special Education Advisor and I randomly found it on my Google alerts set to "special education."  I don't recall ever having come across it before, but I can tell that it is going to be a valuable resource in the months to come.  According to the "About" tab, Special Education Advisor is "a community of parents, educators, and special education service providers dedicated to helping families with special education needs children understand their special education rights and receive appropriate special education services."

This particular entry was written by a guy named Doug Goldberg, but there appear to be various contributors, all in some way committed to special education.  Other recent entries include "De-escalating Conflict in the Classroom," "Dyslexia IEP Flow Chart," and "Music, Magic, and Our 'Emotional Brains.'"

The principal founder of SEA is one Dennise Goldberg who, as a mother to a child with special needs, was moved to start this website.  You can read more about her story here:


Twas the night before an IEP meeting when all through the house every creature was stirring and running about.  The assessments were filed in a notebook with care, in the hope that we'd get a one-on-one aide.

My son was having another tantrum in his bed, while visions of ABA therapy danced in my head.  And I knew that I was out of my element since I'd never been taught any behavior strategies when up in the attic arose such a clatter, I sprang from the room to see what was the matter.

Away to the attic I flew like a flash, tore up the ladder and then fell with a crash.  I picked myself up, just as the light from above gave luster to my wife holding her stash.  And what to my wandering eyes did she have but the behavior analysis thought lost long ago.

With this new data in hand, I ran like a flash, scanned the info and sent out an email blast.  The email was sent to the IEP team to consider the findings and help manage my son's needs.  My hands were both trembling and flailing about as thoughts of receiving help were brandied about.

Then came a knock at the door from below and I knew in a moment it must be Steve Nick.  The advocate we hired had arrived at the door and more rapid than eagles, he started pacing the floor.  He discussed all our options, and then he whistled and shouted and called out their names.

Now OT!  Now PT!  Now Speech and Behavior Plan!  On Counseling!  On Parent Training!  On Assistive Technology and Recreation Therapy!  To the front of the classroom!  To the use of an aide!  Oh, there are still more options to be heard!

As we finished discussing his needs, we moved on to possible goal ideas.  Then, a wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.  He then spoke not a word, but went straight to his work and filled up a graph plotting the bell curve.  As soon as he finished he turned with a jerk and, laying a finger aside of his nose and giving a nod, he screamed "EUREKA!" and rose. 

He sprang to his feet and showed us the data which proved our concerns were more than valid.  When everyone was happy and thought we had a good strategy, Steve Nick left our house with a bound.  As he sprang to his car, he gave me a whistle; and, as he drove out of sight, I heard him exclaim, "A FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR ALL, AND TO ALL, A GOOD NIGHT!"

No comments:

Post a Comment